Governor Bars State from Asking Job Applicants About Felony Records

CBS Chicago, October 7, 2013

Illinoisans with a felony on their records will no longer be asked about their criminal past when they apply for state jobs.

Promoting the decision to what he calls “Ban the Box,” State Rep. LaShawn K. Ford (D-Chicago) says the governor’s administrative order doesn’t mean private employers will be required to hire ex-cons. It simply means applications for state government jobs will no longer include a box indicating whether an applicant has pled guilty, or been convicted of a criminal offense, other than a minor traffic violation.

State agencies would still be allowed to conduct background checks, and request information on criminal convictions, but not until later in the process.


As for himself, the lawmaker says he anticipates federal bank fraud charges against him–unrelated to his service in the General Assembly–being tossed out of court soon.


Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Erasmus

    State representative LaShawn K. Ford? There’s a name that by itself shouts “Rhodes Scholar.” *Bwahhhh*

  • mobilebay

    Guess O.J. will know where to go for a job when he’s released. Good place for ex-politicians too.

    • Epiminondas

      I think bureaucracies are wonderful dumping grounds for violent felons.

  • sbuffalonative

    Another gun to the head of businesses. Just wait until a violent felon is hired and goes berserk at work. Who will be held liable? The government or the business?

  • CharlesFinley

    Jiggurz calling the shots in this fustercluck-of-a-country.

    What a pathetic situation.

    Mission accomplished, choco-preezy.

  • Luca

    Attention Illinois, wake up please..can you say “Recall?”

  • The last two Illinois Governors have been convicted of Federal felonies. The state politician most loudly cheering Quinn’s executive order is himself facing a Federal bank fraud rap.


    Or is it a matter of felons, politicians and political felons looking out for their own?

  • Spartacus

    Criminals defending their own…

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    I thought a criminal record in Chicago was an asset on one’s resume.

    LaShawn K. Ford (D-Felony) and Blogojevich can get state jobs once Blogo is out of prison — with the other Illinois ex- governors.

    I assume child abuse charges will be ignored too for those applying for teaching jobs in elementary schools.

  • rowingfool

    Former Felon? By that criteria won’t Whites be underrepresented? And won’t that constitute disparate impact?

    Help me Mr. Wizard! There’s no way out of this maze.

  • scutum

    Rep. LaShawn Ford:
    Right up there with Latavius, Shaniqua, and Delirious. I believe this individual
    is an associate of the congressman that worried about Guam tipping over if to
    many people were put on one side of the island.
    The nation is collapsing and the only hope we have is that it will break apart like the old Soviet Union and we are able to establish a European American nation in North America.

  • Epiminondas

    This is a wonderful way to spread the joys of diversity to liberal state bureaucrats. Go for it, Illinois!

  • dd121

    Madness, utter madness.

  • [Guest]


    “Chicago Tribune” headline from November 2012:

    “Rep. LaShawn Ford indicted on bank fraud charges”

    …The charges allege that Ford fraudulently obtained $373,500 in advances from the line of credit to rehabilitate six real estate properties on the West Side. But he used part of that money to pay off car loans, credit cards, mortgages, casino debts and expenses for his 2006 campaign, prosecutors said.

  • WR_the_realist

    Illinois’ government has long been run by crooks, this just makes it official.

  • One of the last times I was near Chicago, I was listening to the local “all bell curve all the time” station, WVON, and some caller actually said that since black men who are convicted of murder are convicted felons and therefore have trouble finding jobs, he thought that murder should only be classified as a misdemeanor.

    Don’t put it past Pat Quinn to push for that next year, which is his re-election year.

  • Puggg

    Hmm. Not allowing state job applications to ask for felony convictions, and Pat Quinn is the one who finally does it?

    “I wish I would have thought of that!”

    Signed, Rod Blagovich and George Ryan

  • borogirl54

    I can just see it now, a person who was convicted for embezzlement and served their time, ends up embezzling the state department that they worked in. The state can use the excuse that we did not know they had been convicted of embezzlement in the past.

  • me

    When you find yourself in a gigantic ‘black’ hole, quit digging!

  • a multiracial individual

    1. Ask for criminal history. Get sued for discrimination.
    2. Hire a violent criminal. Get sued by client/customer for negligence.

    Pick one.

  • JohnEngelman

    This is one more factor that will cause people to have less confidence in government employees. Both of my parents worked for the government. When they got their jobs they had to pass exacting civil service exams.

  • Luca

    Lovely Liberal logic. I can see it now. Pedophiles working in daycare centers, drunk drivers tending bar, bank robbers as tellers, rapists working in nursing homes and home invasion/B&E thugs working for alarm companies. What could possibly go wrong?

    • Whitetrashgang

      Nothing at all , thats why we need more immigration and more spending on social programs .The more drunk,pedophile bank robbing rapists working the less people on welfare, which means more money for more immigration. Its win win all around.

  • Whitetrashgang

    It should be that you cant get a state job unless you have at least one felony on your record. This way its easier to keep track of most felons. Also I might add a tattoo or chip imbedded in their arm to speed up the process of the cycle of jail , courthouse, and then being rehired. Could call it the Chicago chocolate speedway.

  • Greg Thomas

    What would we expect from someone named LaShawn?

  • De’Ontavious Jizzaiah Jones

    The punch line is at end – La’Genius has pending Federal bank fraud charges. I was raised with an overdeveloped sense of shame, so it amazes me when I see people who have Zero shame.

  • I am a felon, and I dislike this very much. I can behave myself.

  • RyanP

    The amount of things you are not allowed to ask applicants now, we might as well just ditch the job interview process altogether. At the rate we are going we are about 15 years away from a government agency that acts as a buffer between employers and employees. Employers will submit jobs and the agency will assign them workers. Employers will have a workplace diversity score and employees will be assigned accordingly.

    A handful of brave repubs will suggest eliminating this agency. No wait, they will suggest reducing funding to the agency. No wait, they will suggest reducing the planned spending increases to the agency. No matter, they will be labelled racist pigs either way.

  • Brian

    Well I’m glad to hear there’s no self-serving aspect to this at least. Pure coincidence he’s fighting his own charge.

  • I have mixed feelings about this. If violent ex-conx are going to chimp out at work, THANK GOD they will be chimping out at Illinois state agencies. We need HUD and the EEOC to hire people with a history of psychotic workplace violence, but the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles is a great place to start.

    In my own case, once I was off federal supervision, I always lied on job applications, and explained that the three year gap in my employment history was spent working as a freelance writer. If my criminal conviction is grounds for not hiring me – and I must assume that is exactly why they are asking – then I simply do not owe that prospective employer the truth.